Mumbai City FC: 6′ Rafael Bastos (Assist: Arnold Issoko)
Mumbai City FC fell short of mounting an improbable comeback, but scraped together a win against FC Goa to end their league campaign on a high.
The solitary goal of the game came as early as in the sixth minute. Arnold Issoko dispossessed Lenny Rodrigues in midfield, rode a couple of challenges and eased a through ball into Rafael Bastos who finished without a fuss.
For the briefest moment, Mumbai looked like they were up for the challenge to overturn the first leg deficit, but Goa maintained their composure after conceding and pressed for an equaliser.
Ahmed Jahouh was booked early on and to avoid the possibility of picking up a second and missing the final, he was substituted with Edu Bedia. Mumbai had a couple of good chances during the first half, but they couldn’t effect the scoreline as they went into the half-time break a goal to the good.
As seen in the Top Shooters stat, the all-time highest goal scorer in the ISL, Coro got a few shots away, but was unable to find the net. The Spanish forward came closest to an equaliser in the 56th minute, but he hit the bar from six yards out.
Modou Sougou had the bulk of attempts for Mumbai City FC. However, he shot agonisingly wide with a couple of attempts and the rest of his shots on goal were mopped up by the Goa custodian Naveen Kumar. The Goan keeper had a good game and gauged Mumbai’s shots from in and around the box well to keep the Islanders at bay for the rest of the game. Mourtada Fall picked up his second man of the match award in succession with a resolute performance in the Goan defence.
After losing out to eventual winners Chennaiyin FC in the semi-final last season, Goa will be making an appearance in the final after two seasons. The Goan team this season while prolific going forward have added defensive stability to the mix – they finished the league stage with the highest number of goals and clean sheets.
The stage is all set for the final on Sunday, March 17th against Bengaluru FC – and there is the promise of a new ISL champion with ATK and Chennaiyin FC the only two teams to have won the ISL title before.